Considering the vast amount of money thrown at footballers desperate to perfect and protect their ‘brand’, it’s quite ironic that the League Managers Association is now the one in desperate need of some good PR.
The latest incident to rear its ugly head has been the alleged conduct of former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay, who has had some of his private text messages publicly released. Mackay has sought solace with the LMA who, in a brilliantly hilarious act of deflection, instead moved the conversation to their own massively misjudged statement in which they branded the manager’s actions as “friendly text message banter”.
Today the LMA have been forced to apologise for their own apology:
The LMA apologises for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature. That was certainly not our intention.
That the original statement even managed to go public in the first place is baffling. We can only assume that anyone with a passing interest in communications at the LMA was on holiday and, rather than consult with the professionals, the management made their own decision to put out one of the most dismissive statements ever published.
The original apology has now been removed from their website and, in its place, is this much shorter message in which they claim they will “not be commenting further on the allegations relating to Malky Mackay whilst The FA conducts its investigation”. Mackay’s probably relieved.
The whole situation has, however, been a PR nightmare for the LMA who have now been made a laughing stock by the national media. In particular, their dismissal of the messages as ‘banter’ has led to the most condemnation. While the LMA obviously has a remit to protect their members, we’d like to believe that any experienced communications professional – if indeed one ever got near this statement – would have drawn a line through that particular wording without hesitation. Likewise, their defence that Mackay was just “letting off steam” is similarly ludicrous.
If they have one, we’d hate to be part of the LMA’s comms team right now.